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Forestry Statistics 2015 - Recreation

Visits to woodland - on-site surveys

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On-site surveys - Quality of Experience

An on-site survey methodology was developed early in 2003 to measure visitors' "Quality of Experience". Pilot surveys were conducted in 2003 at Afan Argoed and the New Forest, prior to adoption of the methodology in England in 2003 and in Wales in 2006, with around three to five surveys carried out per year at selected sites between 2003 and 2009 and up to 20 surveys carried out between 2010 and 2012. The current programme, running from 2013 to 2015, is covering 7 sites in England and 7 sites in Wales each year. Reports from these surveys are published on the Forestry Commission website at www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-5wwjpt when results become available.

These studies were designed to investigate what constitutes quality of experience for visitors, addressing related concepts such as motivations, expectations and the needs of different groups.

For the 2003 to 2009 surveys, visitors who used a particular site at least once a month were interviewed and asked to rate both the levels of importance of different aspects of woodland and forest visits and their satisfaction with these aspects. Respondents who visited less often were interviewed for a shorter period before being given a questionnaire to take away and return regarding their levels of satisfaction.

For the 2010 to 2014 surveys, all visitors were surveyed on site.

Table 6.9 lists the sites where Quality of Experience surveys have taken place.

Table 6.9 Sites of Quality of Experience surveys undertaken in England and Wales

Year

England

Wales

2003

Grizedale, Westonbirt, Whiston

..

2004

Dalby, Thetford

..

2005

Alice Holt, Cannock Chase, Forest of Dean

..

2006

Sherwood Pines, Delamere, Hamsterley

Garwnant, Nant yr Arian

2007

Fineshade, Rosliston, Whinlatter

Coed y Brenin

2008

Bedgebury, Thetford, Wyre

Cwmcarn

2009 

Kielder, Dalby, Haldon

.. 

2010

Hamsterley, Whinlatter, Grizedale, Cannock Chase, Sherwood Pines, Salcey, Wendover, Alice Holt, Westonbirt, Beechenhurst

Coed y Brenin, Newborough, Garwnant, Gwydyr, Whitestone, Hafren, Moel Famau, Gethin, Llan Wynno, Cwm Saebran

 2011

Bedgebury, Delamere, Fineshade Top Lodge, High Lodge Thetford, Wyre  

Cwmcarn, Nant yr arian, Alwen, Brechfa, Clocaenog, Crychan, Dyfnant.

 2012

Dalby, Haldon, Kielder, Rosliston and Hicks Lodge 

Abergynolwyn, Craig y Dinas, Cwm Rhaeadr, Fforest Fawr, Gwaun Hepste, Hafod, Llangwyfan, Nercwys, Tan y Coed, The Arch, Warren 

2013

Alice Holt, Cannock Chase, Cardinham Woods, Grizedale, Sherwood Pines, Wendover Woods, Westonbirt  

Afan, Brechfa, Cwmcarn Forest Drive1, Gwydyr, Hafren, Moel Famau, Newborough, Whitestone

2014 

Bedgebury, Delamere, Forest of Dean, Hamsterley, High Lodge Thetford, Salcey, Whinlatter 

Alwen, Bwlch Nant yr Arian, Clocaenog, Coed y Brenin, Cors Caron, Crychan, Garwnant 

Source: Forestry Commission/ Natural Resources Wales Quality of Experience surveys. 2003 -2009 carried out by TNS Travel & Tourism, 2010 - 2012 carried out by BMG Research, 2013 - 2014 carried out by Beaufort Research.

Notes:

1.  The survey at Cwmcarn Forest Drive was carried out in addition to the main programme of 14 sites in 2013.

.. Denotes data not available (no surveys run that year).

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics

In addition, surveys have been conducted around community forests in Thames Chase (2004), South Yorkshire (2005), North West England (2006), South Wales (2006), South West England (2007) and North & Mid Wales (2007). These surveys examine the recreation activities undertaken by members of the local community, levels of recreational use, awareness of local open spaces, and the motivations and barriers to using Forestry Commission sites for recreation.

In 2011, 3 surveys of residents were undertaken in the areas surrounding three low usage sites, to obtain information on how greater usage of the sites could be encouraged.

 

Links to Forestry Statistics 2015